It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing

'A tight-knit band of professionals'.

'A tight-knit band of professionals'.

GOOD TIMING: The recently formed Gisborne 12-piece, with seasoned entertainer Peter Te Kani on vocals, makes its debut tomorrow when the The Chris Reynolds Big Band performs at the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s rally at the Showgrounds — but public performances are on their way, says Reynolds. Pictures by Mark Peters

Start spreading the news . . . the big band sound of the early to mid 1900s is about to lay down gone grooves in Gisborne. Former Weber Brothers Circus, and Royal New Zealand Navy Band, brass player Chris Reynolds came up with the idea of forming a big band after he was approached by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association to find an act for the association’s rally this weekend.

He suggested they might like a Glen Miller-like sound. The association liked the idea and Reynolds hand-picked top local musicians to make up the 12-piece, bought big band arrangements known as charts for each instrument and the Chris Reynolds Big Band was ready to be the talk of the town.

“We were asked for ideas for entertainment,” says Reynolds.

“Peter Te Kani and I put our heads together and came up with the idea of a big band. I’ve sensed a demand for big band music in Gisborne. We have the players in town so this is the optimum time.”

Big bands are most commonly associated with the jazz, Latin and swing sound of the early 20th century. Tunes selected for the Chris Reynolds Big Band’s debut include, appropriately enough for their debut, Duke Ellington’s 1936 jazz standard, Caravan; Frank Sinatra’s belter New York, New York! Glen Miller’s In the Mood, and Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing. Four saxophones, two trumpets, two trombones, guitar, double bass, electric bass, percussion, piano, and vocals make up the recently formed Gisborne band’s sound. Dressed in black, and seated behind black and gold box-like music stands that Reynolds joked are designed to hide stuff in (“Booze,” quipped percussionist Mike Jones), the Gisborne musicians not only look the part, they sound it. Te Kani, singer for the Chris Reynolds Big Band, has previously played bass with New Zealand entertainer Howard Morrison’s band. He and Reynolds began talking last year about forming a big band in Gisborne.

“I’ve always loved the big band sound. I heard that music all the time when I was growing up.”

Saxophonist Tim Donnell has previously performed with Reynolds in Gisborne band John Mackill’s Jazz Collective so he is right at home with the big band sound.

“The sax is my instrument but here I get to play baritone sax. I love its sound. It’s got a more complicated tone and more depth than other saxes. Every note’s a poem.”

Tenor saxophone and flute player Laura Gilding has also played in John Mackill’s Jazz Collective as well as the Gisborne Civic Orchestra, concert band, and St John band.

“It keeps me out of mischief, “ she says.

Reynolds might like to include American jazz pianist Fats Waller’s Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now on the big band’s future playlist.

Although Gilding has played flute since she was a child it is not an instrument commonly heard in big bands, but Reynolds makes the most of instruments available to him, says Gilding, who gets to play the higher lines on the woodwind instrument. She picked up the sax only three years ago.

“I’ve always liked the sound of the sax and I’ve always wanted to play it. Big band music suits it down to the ground. I’ve always like big band music so I jumped at the chance when I was invited to play.”

On percussion is Mike Jones who has performed with Gisborne’s brass band, concert band, and the learners’ band the JBs. To get a feel for the big band style he watched a lot of YouTube videos.

“I come from an orchestra background so the big band sound is new to me but I enjoy it. It’s jazzy and there’s more swing.

“This is a tight-knit band of professionals.”

Start spreading the news . . . the big band sound of the early to mid 1900s is about to lay down gone grooves in Gisborne. Former Weber Brothers Circus, and Royal New Zealand Navy Band, brass player Chris Reynolds came up with the idea of forming a big band after he was approached by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association to find an act for the association’s rally this weekend.

He suggested they might like a Glen Miller-like sound. The association liked the idea and Reynolds hand-picked top local musicians to make up the 12-piece, bought big band arrangements known as charts for each instrument and the Chris Reynolds Big Band was ready to be the talk of the town.

“We were asked for ideas for entertainment,” says Reynolds.

“Peter Te Kani and I put our heads together and came up with the idea of a big band. I’ve sensed a demand for big band music in Gisborne. We have the players in town so this is the optimum time.”

Big bands are most commonly associated with the jazz, Latin and swing sound of the early 20th century. Tunes selected for the Chris Reynolds Big Band’s debut include, appropriately enough for their debut, Duke Ellington’s 1936 jazz standard, Caravan; Frank Sinatra’s belter New York, New York! Glen Miller’s In the Mood, and Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing. Four saxophones, two trumpets, two trombones, guitar, double bass, electric bass, percussion, piano, and vocals make up the recently formed Gisborne band’s sound. Dressed in black, and seated behind black and gold box-like music stands that Reynolds joked are designed to hide stuff in (“Booze,” quipped percussionist Mike Jones), the Gisborne musicians not only look the part, they sound it. Te Kani, singer for the Chris Reynolds Big Band, has previously played bass with New Zealand entertainer Howard Morrison’s band. He and Reynolds began talking last year about forming a big band in Gisborne.

“I’ve always loved the big band sound. I heard that music all the time when I was growing up.”

Saxophonist Tim Donnell has previously performed with Reynolds in Gisborne band John Mackill’s Jazz Collective so he is right at home with the big band sound.

“The sax is my instrument but here I get to play baritone sax. I love its sound. It’s got a more complicated tone and more depth than other saxes. Every note’s a poem.”

Tenor saxophone and flute player Laura Gilding has also played in John Mackill’s Jazz Collective as well as the Gisborne Civic Orchestra, concert band, and St John band.

“It keeps me out of mischief, “ she says.

Reynolds might like to include American jazz pianist Fats Waller’s Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now on the big band’s future playlist.

Although Gilding has played flute since she was a child it is not an instrument commonly heard in big bands, but Reynolds makes the most of instruments available to him, says Gilding, who gets to play the higher lines on the woodwind instrument. She picked up the sax only three years ago.

“I’ve always liked the sound of the sax and I’ve always wanted to play it. Big band music suits it down to the ground. I’ve always like big band music so I jumped at the chance when I was invited to play.”

On percussion is Mike Jones who has performed with Gisborne’s brass band, concert band, and the learners’ band the JBs. To get a feel for the big band style he watched a lot of YouTube videos.

“I come from an orchestra background so the big band sound is new to me but I enjoy it. It’s jazzy and there’s more swing.

“This is a tight-knit band of professionals.”

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